Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's not bad apples, it's the fruit of the poison tree

McClatchy Newspapers has been spending 8 months doing what reporters are supposed to do. Instead of acting as stenographers for the government they've actually been investigating the claims the government has made.

This week, starting on Sunday, they are publishing the results:
* Sunday: We got the wrong guys
* Monday: 'I guess you can call it torture'
* Tuesday: A school for Jihad
* Today: 'Due process is legal mumbo-jumbo'
* Thursday: 'You are the king of this prison'
Here are some excerpts so far.
America's prison for terrorists often held the wrong men

Akhtiar was among the more than 770 terrorism suspects imprisoned at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They are the men the Bush administration described as "the worst of the worst."

But Akhtiar was no terrorist. American troops had dragged him out of his Afghanistan home in 2003 and held him in Guantanamo for three years in the belief that he was an insurgent involved in rocket attacks on U.S. forces. The Islamic radicals in Guantanamo's Camp Four who hissed "infidel" and spat at Akhtiar, however, knew something his captors didn't: The U.S. government had the wrong guy.

"He was not an enemy of the government, he was a friend of the government," a senior Afghan intelligence officer told McClatchy. Akhtiar was imprisoned at Guantanamo on the basis of false information that local anti-government insurgents fed to U.S. troops, he said.
U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases

Former guards and detainees whom McClatchy interviewed said Bagram was a center of systematic brutality for at least 20 months, starting in late 2001. Yet the soldiers responsible have escaped serious punishment.

The public outcry in the United States and abroad has focused on detainee abuse at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, but sadistic violence first appeared at Bagram, north of Kabul, and at a similar U.S. internment camp at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan.
Militants found recruits among Guantanamo's wrongly detained

Mohammed Naim Farouq was a thug in the lawless Zormat district of eastern Afghanistan. He ran a kidnapping and extortion racket, and he controlled his turf with a band of gunmen who rode around in trucks with AK-47 rifles.

U.S. troops detained him in 2002, although he had no clear ties to the Taliban or al Qaida. By the time Farouq was released from Guantanamo the next year, however — after more than 12 months of what he described as abuse and humiliation at the hands of American soldiers — he'd made connections to high-level militants.

In fact, he'd become a Taliban leader. When the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency released a stack of 20 "most wanted" playing cards in 2006 identifying militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan — with Osama bin Laden at the top — Farouq was 16 cards into the deck.
Easing of laws that led to detainee abuse hatched in secret

The framework under which detainees were imprisoned for years without charges at Guantanamo and in many cases abused in Afghanistan wasn't the product of American military policy or the fault of a few rogue soldiers.

It was largely the work of five White House, Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers who, following the orders of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, reinterpreted or tossed out the U.S. and international laws that govern the treatment of prisoners in wartime, according to former U.S. defense and Bush administration officials.
While anyone paying attention already knew most of this, big kudos to the McClatchy reporters for following up and gathering airtight evidence.

Reporters from the Washington Post exposed Watergate and thru their reporting sparked a congress to act in a bi-partisan manner to impeach the 2nd most power hungry, corrupt president in history.

Reporters from McClatchy, and congressional testimony, have exposed the most power hungry and corrupt president in history.

But this time congress' answer has been to either support these immoral and unconstitutional acts or to say 'impeachment is off the table.'


Cross posted at VidiotSpeak